Looking After Yourself & Staying Connected

Find information and support on how to keep yourself and your family healthy, safe and connected during COVID-19.


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Mental HealthLooking after yourself Staying Connected Disability & Accessibility Family Violence



It is important to stay healthy and safe during COVID-19 and ok to feel emotionally or physically affected by the impact of COVID-19. If you are feeling stressed or anxious and feel you are not coping, it’s important to seek help and support. In an emergency or crisis situation you must call 000.

Mental Health

  • If you or anyone you know needs help right now

    If you are concerned about a friend or family member’s mental wellbeing follow these 5 steps to check on them and any potential suicide risk.

    CHIRP Community Health Services on 5479 1000

    Counselling, Alcohol and Other Drug services, which provide counselling and withdrawal support.

    Mt Alexander Family Services, which support families who are experiencing difficulties.

    Housing services, which can assist people with transitional accommodation, applications for the complex Social Housing process, private rental assistance with rent arrears, moving, bonds, rent in advance and tenancy advice, emergency accommodation, advocacy, advice and referrals.

    Allied Health services including diabetes support & education, heart & blood pressure monitoring, support & advice with a range of health issues and physiotherapy & exercise physiology assessments & treatment.

  • Information on keeping a healthy headspace

    To help keep a healthy headspace during this time, it’s important to stay connected to family and friends, eat well and ensure you stay active.

    Here are some simple tips to help reduce worry and stress and maintain a healthy mindset:

    • Take a break from the news
    • Stay active
    • Stay connected to friends and family
    • Eat well
    • Get enough sleep
    • Talk to a trusted friend/adult if it all feels a bit much.
  • Other resources, apps and tools for improving your mental wellbeing

    There are many other helpful resources and help available on-line. Below is a list of links that may be useful to improve your mental wellbeing and assist you to cope better during COVID-19.

Looking After Yourself

If you have serious symptoms, such as difficulty breathing, call 000 and ask for an ambulance.

  • If you suspect you have coronavirus (symptoms include a fever, cough, shortness of breath, a sore throat and/or tiredness) or need advice you should contact:

    DHHS Coronavirus Hotline

    Call: 1800 675 398 – 24 hours (7 days a week)
    Online self-assessment tool: www.dhhs.vic.gov.au/coronavirus-self-assessment

    Mount Alexander COVID-19 Screening Clinic
    This screening clinic provides testing for people with symptoms of Coronavirus (COVID-19) and for those requiring mandatory COVID-19 testing prior to surgery. Appointments are essential – call CHIRP Community Health on 5479 1000 between 9am – 5pm, 7 days a week to book an appointment. Please leave a detailed message to receive a call back. Further information can be found here.

    The Australian Government Department of Health website has information on coronavirus (COVID-19) including, symptoms, seeking medical attention and self-isolation: www.health.gov.au

    Local GP clinics within Mount Alexander Shire are also testing registered patients via appointment:

    Lyttleton Street Clinic, Call: (03) 5472 3233
    Mostyn Street Clinic, Call: (03) 5472 1255
    Botanical Gardens Clinic, Call: (03) 5472 1844

    If you aren’t registered with a local GP clinic, your nearest COVID-19 GP Respiratory Clinic is:
    Bendigo Respiratory Clinic
    Call: 1800 573 196 (by appointment only)
    Visit: 126 Spring Gully Road, Spring Gully VIC 3550
    Online booking: www.hotdoc.com.au/medical-centres

    To view the locations of testing stations in Victoria visit DHHS – Where to get tested in Victoria

Staying Connected

There are many ways to stay connected with family and friends during COVID-19 restrictions including telephone and video calls and social media. Local groups and organisations have set up Facebook pages as a way to keep connected and offer help. The Victorian Stage Government and our local community are also running initiatives to keep people connected and engaged.

Victoria Together shares some of the best music, entertainment, nature and art our state has to offer. Because even though we’re at home – we’re together. Visit www.together.vic.gov.au

  • Local Connections
  • Support in Isolation

    If you need support, information, advice on who to contact or what to do, or simply need to talk to someone who will listen, call the friendly staff at CHIRP Community Health on (03) 5479 1000 – 9am to 5pm (Monday – Friday).

    Australian Red Cross – COVID Connect also have volunteers that are happy to call you – once or regularly – for a friendly chat to help maintain or improve social connection.
    COVID Connect is a free service from Australian Red Cross, for adults of all ages, to provide support and community connection to people who are feeling socially isolated as a result of COVID-19.
    It is available to anyone who is not in regular social contact with is experiencing isolation or loneliness. Call 1800 733 276 or register online at: www.redcross.org.au
    (Note: It is not a service for people wanting assistance with their mental health or those who require assistance in a crisis).

  • Be Connected Program

    Be Connected is an Australian Government initiative committed to increasing the confidence, skills and online safety of older people and empowering all Australians to thrive in a digital world. They offer online resources and support to learn the basics of using digital devices and engaging with the internet. For more information visit https://beconnected.esafety.gov.au/

    In Mount Alexander Shire the following organisations offer weekly Be Connected sessions to help you with all your technology needs by providing one on one IT support with a digital mentor.

    • Mount Alexander Shire Council
    • Castlemaine Library
    • Castlemaine Community House
    • Maldon Neighbourhood Centre

    To view the Be Connected sessions offered locally you can view the weekly program here: BeConnected Flyer

    Castlemaine Library also offer additional specific Be Connected workshops, for example Getting started with your iphone or Introduction to MyGov. To check the program visit www.ncgrl.vic.gov.au/beconnected

Disability & Accessibility

Family Violence

If you are worried about someone who is experiencing family violence – check in with them. They can leave home to escape harm. Family violence services are still operating.
You are allowed to leave home if you are escaping harm or are at risk of harm from family violence or abuse.

In an emergency or crisis situation you must call 000.

Congratulations Main FM

Congratulations to the winner of the Connect Mount Alexander competition - MAIN fm!!! A $250 voucher for a local business service is coming your way!!

Thank you to all the community groups and clubs that took part in the competition. If you are yet to register your community group or club, please visit the Community Directory for registration details.